When regular networks like NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX put their shows on hiatus, they line up mind-numbing, inexpensive-to-produce fare for us to consume while Mark Harmon, Alec Baldwin and Patrick Dempsey (and their expensive hair, wardrobes and sets) get a well-deserved vacation.
CBS will bring back the blight that is Big Brother for the fourteenth (!) time, ABC will rock our world with Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and NBC will be grossing us out with a weird Survivor-meets-The Bachelor hybrid called Love in the Wild.
If summer television programming is junk food for the brain, then FOX Television is the drive-thru and Gordon Ramsay is the guy slinging the burgers and fries. This summer Ramsay is spearheading three shows for Fox: the wildly popular humiliation-and-shout-fest Hell's Kitchen comes back for season ten, the much more interesting, foodie-driven Masterchef will follow HK for its third season, and, finally, Ramsay's newest reality show, Hotel Hell, will debut.
I don't know about you, but I'm ready to chow down.
You know how when you stop being a student, and you get a job, summer vacation stops being special? (Unless you're a teacher, of course.) And then weekends become your big thing, right? You wait all week for those two days you have off. Only sometimes you end up like me, a freelancer who works for herself, and weekends -- and evenings -- tend to lose any kind of special feeling, because you end up working a lot of weekends and late nights. So while I have found it impossible to reclaim the decadence of evenings and weekends off, I have found a way to reclaim the delicious, relaxing vibe of summer: television.
I'm stocking up on wine coolers this weekend and setting the DVR for this trio of Gordon Ramsay shows, and I won't apologize for it, either. Sure, I could devote that time to finally watching Downton Abbey or cleaning my bathroom or reading the stack of books on my nightstand, but c'mon -- I work hard. I deserve a little mindless fun, don't I?
And frankly, even if these shows are mindless junk food, they are going to take a certain amount of commitment and dedication. Hell's Kitchen premieres at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 29, and leads straight into the Master Chef premiere at 9 p.m.; the next week HK expands to two nights a week, and will pair its second episode with Hotel Hell, which premieres on Monday, June 4, at 9 p.m. Whether Master Chef will have a second weekly episode has yet to be announced, but if it does, we have to be prepared to commit to between five and six hours of Gordon Ramsay every week.
Who's with me? Masterchef
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